New Concussion Guidelines

When in Doubt, Sit Them Out

With so much focus on concussions in sports, guidelines are continuously being released to help sports organizations maintain safety.   The American Academy of Neurology released new guidelines suggesting if there is a hint of a head injury, then the player should be removed from the game.  Furthermore, a player should not return to play until a “specialist gives the OK.”

Dr. Christopher Giza, lead author on the guidelines and an associate professor of pediatric neurology and neurosurgery at the David Geffen School of Medicine and the Mattel Children’s Hospital at the University of California, Los Angeles, concurs as he expresses that if there is a question whether there may be a concussion, then a player should sit out until an evaluation is done by a medical provider who has expertise in concussions.

Concussion Risk Management

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“Concussions are like snowflakes – each one is different,” according to Dr. Micky Collins of the Sports Medicine Concussion Program at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center.  What we’ve learned is that seemingly mild ones can become severe and severe ones can turn out to be mild.  Players have lost consciousness and have not had any worse outcome than those who remained conscious.  Dizziness seems to be the only symptom that predicts poor outcome as those players are the ones that are more likely to have a month or more of recovery time.”

AAN released a concussion grading system in the late 90s, which linked the severity of the hit with recovery time.  New research shows it is nearly impossible to predict how long symptoms will affect a player.  However, quick diagnosis and proper management are main factors in controlling the recovery time.

John Sadler:  This is interesting advice as its the first time I’ve heard that mild concussions can be severe and ones resulting in unconsciousness can have rapid recovery times.  Also, its critical to note the importance of dizziness as a symptom.

Source: NBC News